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10 / March / 2016



AFA sees many roles for agriculture as new legislative session begins


Red Deer, Alberta (March 10, 2016) – When the Government of Alberta opened the new legislative session on Tuesday, March 8, the Alberta Federation of Agriculture (AFA) was part of the event.


In fact, AFA 2nd Vice President Humphrey Banack believes that agriculture and AFA will play a key role in the Government’s plans going forward. Banack represented AFA and its members at the Legislature in Edmonton as the throne speech was presented to MLAs and guests.

“It was a unique experience to be involved,” says Banack, who farms near Camrose. “AFA was the only agriculture group invited to take part in the ceremony. To my mind, this speaks to the solid working relationship that AFA has developed over the last nine months with the Government.”

The throne speech placed agriculture at the heart of the action, as Lieutenant Governor Lois Mitchell stated: "My government will set out plans to build on strengths in our economy – including in our agriculture and forestry industries – and to partner with communities and regions so they can act on their local economic strengths and opportunities."

Beyond this direct reference to agriculture, Banack believes that producers can and will be involved in the broad policy aims outlined in the throne speech and a general farm organization such as AFA will be pivotal in that process. These policy goals include a sustainable economy, an effective response to climate change, expanding agriculture’s workforce and diversifying the province’s economy beyond the cyclical price swings of the oil and gas sector.

“Agriculture contributes substantially to diversification and can be a grounding base for Alberta’s economy,” Banack notes. “For example, the Speech referenced financing for small business, and there are tremendous opportunities to support and grow both primary agriculture and the food processing industry.”

To Banack, the throne speech is a positive sign that the Government of Alberta and AFA can work together for the benefit of producers and the entire industry.

“We’ve had a number of meetings with Oneil Carlier, the Agriculture and Forestry Minister, and with the former Minister of Labour, Lori Sigurdson,” Banack says. “I feel they appreciate the unified voice our general farm organization provides. We are pleased with the working relationship AFA has with the Government, and believe as they also consult with other groups like commodity organizations, we’ll be able to develop the kind of policies that will move agriculture forward.”

Alberta Federation of Agriculture is Alberta's largest producer-funded general farm organization. Whenever decisions are being made that affect the province's agricultural industry, we're there, providing an effective voice for Alberta's farmers. For more information on AFA, please visit our website at: www.afaonline.ca

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For more information, please contact:

(Mr.) Lynn Jacobson, President at 403-894-5208   

Humphrey Banack, Vice President at 780-679-4449